Politically Correct by Liam Richardson

Liam Richardson of UR Potential
Liam Richardson of UR Potential
Have your say

Young people quizzed panel at first summit

Blackpool Youth Voice held its first annual Youth Summit on Thursday April 21 at the Oracle on St Annes Road.

More than 50 people were in attendance representing schools, colleges, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, uniformed groups and voluntary and community youth projects across Blackpool.

The event provided information about the top three issues (living wage, curriculum for life and transport) from the 2015 Make Your Mark campaign.

It then moved into a Q&A session where young people could ask questions, related to these topics, to panel members.

The panel members consisted of Jake Adams (chairman of Blackpool Youth Voice and Blackpool Member of youth Parliament), Coun Maria Kirkland, Coun Danny Scott, Jane Cole (managing director of Blackpool Transport), Sue Littlefair (Princes Trust), Deborah Terras (URPotential), and Andy Fairbrother (chairman of Blackpool Providers Group and owner of VLlancs Training).

The event was a huge success and many young people were able to ask key questions about issues which have an impact on their lives in Blackpool.

Blackpool Youth Voice plan to hold two youth summits per year.

The national Make Your Mark campaign, which will shape the future for Blackpool young people, ran from August 12 to October 9 2015.

The campaign is a part of the British Youth Council, United Kingdom Youth Parliament campaign, which is a ballot paper for young people, aged 11 to 18, to have their say on what is debated by their Member of Youth Parliament’s in the House of Commons every year.

Blackpool Youth Voice previously ran the campaign in 2014, gaining 4,782 ballot (35 per cent turn out).

However, they achieved an exceptional 8,893 ballots (64 per cent) for the 2015 campaign with the living wage (1,349 votes), curriculum for life(1,129 votes) and transport(1,052 votes) coming out as the top issues.

Having a say on transport

The intention of our campaign on transport is to improve the pricing structure, cleanliness, frequency, reliability and treatment of young people on Blackpool’s public transport.

This issue came third in our Make Your Mark campaign with 11.83 per cent of the total vote.

Moving forward from this event, Blackpool Youth Voice will develop an action plan based on the views of the town’s young people.

This action plan, with the support of key organisations in the town, will be used to influence decision makers and work alongside the council to improve services for young people.

Blackpool Youth Voice is also planning to develop a model or lesson plan around curriculum for life to be introduced in personal social health lessons.

It also wants to build links in transport to allow young people’s views about transport in the town to be taken into consideration.

Another campaign will be around the implementation of the national living wage.

This will result in people living in areas outside of London being entitled to £8.25 per hour, and for inside London £9.40 per hour.

This issue was the top one in our Make Your Make campaign for Blackpool with 15.17 per cent of the total votes.

Further updates about these campaigns will be published on our website which people can find at www.blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk.

Responses to any unanswered questions from the youth summit will also be published.

Blackpool Youth Voice is currently recruiting for more members.

Anyone who is interested in joining, should please contact jakeadams@blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk or youthsupport@blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk for more details or visit the website.

Helping shape young citizens

The purpose of the ‘curriculum for life’ campaign is to radically overhaul the way in which citizenship education and personal social health education (PSHE) is taught within schools.

This is to give young people vital information in order for them to have the best possible opportunities in life and leave school as functional citizens.

Teachers should be specifically trained to a national standard to deliver this education to ensure all students, no matter where they’re from, are receiving the best possible citizenship education.

This issue came second in the Make Your Make campaign with 12.70 per cent of the total votes.

PSHE education has been part of the national curriculum for schools in UK since 2000. Some aspects, but not all, have been compulsory.

It is a planned programme to help children and young people develop fully as individuals and as members of families and social and economic communities.